Curious Georgie: Facebook's birthday is nothing to celebrate

Why would anyone think everyone wants to sit through their Facebook lifestory... again?


This year will be a special one when it comes to anniversaries in our house.

In August, it will be 10 years since Mum and Dad stood up in front of all of their friends and family and promised to love each other forever.

In September, it will be 10 years since Mum said goodbye to her mummy, our Grandy, who we never knew but have heard was an absolute treat to have as a grandma.

Also in September, Mum will hit the grand old age of 39, which has caused slight upset this week, as she was convinced she was approaching 38. To say she has been perturbed would be an understatement – particularly as she made a similar mistake last year. Apparently, this kind of repetitive confusion has a name – “denial”, I think – but I’ve strayed from my train track of thought.

You’re probably wondering what has prompted the bringing up of these later-in-the-year landmarks here in early February.

Well, this week saw another 10th anniversary come and go – and didn’t we all know about it. Facebook (FB), the place where everyone seems to have a much better life than is humanly possible while befriending the people they’d swap train carriages to avoid in the real world, turned 10. (So it has been here four times as long as moi... but while some would say it has had more of an impact, I like to think those who know me would disagree.)

Regardless, those at FBHQ decided, in their thumbs-up wisdom to offer all their users a present to mark the occasion – namely a compilation of photos, statuses and statistics to sum up your time in the world of pokes, shares, likes, comments and, let’s face it, all-out smugness.

They called it a “movie” but I’m guessing they’ll be getting a call from trading standards.

What a load of old potty contents.

Suddenly everyone’s newsfeed – the bit of FB which updates you on all the things your “friends” want you to know about – was littered with everyone else’s FB journey so far, or more accurately, a couple of random photographs and a few statuses which got more that 1.5 “likes”, set to sentimental music.

Could there be a more appropriate time for the introduction of a “don’t like” button? I think not.

Mum reckoned she would have had to set aside the best part of a day if she’d had any kind of inkling to review the stuff she’d already seen from lots of people she probably couldn’t pick out of a line-up. (She realises a purge on the friend front is long overdue.)

They weren’t even accurate.

For example, if you were to watch Mum’s “movie” (which is highly and rightly unlikely) you wouldn’t have a clue that she has a son as well as a daughter.

Despite the fact my Big Bro Fred was conceived and born at the height of the FB novelty curve – and therefore has a virtual album devoted to him that could rival a veteran paparazzo’s snappy back catalogue – he didn’t appear at all. Not even in four-cell embryo form, for which we do have a pic.

Meanwhile, the dramatic arrival of yours truly was also overlooked. I’m thinking of contacting my lawyers.

Aside from the misrepresentation issues though, why, in Mummy Pig’s name would anyone think everyone in their circle of “friends” would want to take time out to watch a 10-year reminder of their FB doings?.

I’ll tell you why (or at least tell you why Mum thinks it is). It’s because this is the kind of people Facebook has made us into.

The kind of people who think others give a rat’s bum that you’ve just ordered a coffee at the Metrocentre, or that you’re on your way to buy a new kettle, or have had a day which is described just cryptically enough to prompt widespread virtual concern.

Can anyone imagine a time before FB when you’d have thought your mates would come around to yours to go through the past decade of photo albums, family dramas, big purchase receipts and cloakroom tickets... for fun?

No, you can’t, because it would never have happened – and I wish I had a big LIKE button for that.


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